GPH 492/692 - Applied Geophysics

offered each Spring semester except NOT Spring 2014
(next offered Spring 2015)
Prerequisite/Corequisite: Geol 332; 4 Credits
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 11:00-11:50 in LME 415
Lab section GPH 492/692-1101 is two hours per week in the DeLaMare Library downstairs computer lab

Instructor: John Louie, 217 LME, 784-4219, louie@unr.edu
Office Hours: announced soon
http://crack.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/492-syll.html


Learning Objectives: This course is a capstone survey of geophysical techniques applied to solving geoscience and engineering problems in resource exploration and development, natural hazards, and pollution control. The course takes a practical, hands-on, field-oriented approach to show the applications of geophysics to these problems. For each topic, the development will proceed from basic principles (theory) through methodology and applications, to case histories. This course emphasizes applications, and keeps theory to essentials. The syllabus presents basic principles and operational procedures of each method initially, along with discussions of where the method is applicable, and is not applicable. Case histories will illustrate applications.

Assigned readings and composition of literature reviews will be an integral part of the course work. As a major capstone course for undergraduates, your work in this course will integrate all of the computational, critical thinking, writing, and geophysical skills you have gained during your Geological Sciences and Engineering degree program.

The course has 4 elements: lecture/discussions, lab exercises, reading case-history literature, and a field project.
The description below is available to WWW browsers at the URL http://crack.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/492-syll.html.

Team-Based Learning

Team-based learning (''TBL'') is an instructional process that this course has been using for 25 years. TBL has caught the attention of educators since 2000 as an effective method of improving student engagement and retention of learning. While possibly just a fad among professors, professional schools such as the University of Nevada School of Medicine have extensively adopted TBL into their curricula for educating doctors and nurses. View the team-based learning presentation to the Med School located at: crack.seismo.unr.edu/geosci/UNSOM_Intro_TBL-sm.pptx.

Team-Based Learning takes place through a number of steps that we will execute on the first day of class, and then at each class meeting throughout the semester:

  1. Students study assigned materials before class.
  2. Instructor assigns each student to a team- at the start of the semester.
  3. In class, knowledge of assigned materials is tested with quiz questions. For each question:
    1. First each student answers the question alone.
    2. Then each team discusses the question.
    3. All teams in the room show their answer simultaneously.
    4. The instructor asks teams to explain why they chose their answers.
    5. The instructor discusses the correct answer and receives any challenges on its correctness or the quality of the question.
  4. The instructor gives a more difficult exercise to the teams, for group completion, simultaneous response, and class discussion. In this class, these will be the Lab sessions.
  5. Occasionally during the semester, each student will write peer evaluations of each of their team members.

Lecture/Discussions

In general the instructor will hold three 50-minute team-based discussion sessions each week, focusing on processes, concepts, and methods reported in the literature. We will begin the sessions with individual student answers to a question based on the assigned reading materials. Students put their name, the date, daily question number, and circle their answer on an answer card, which the instructor collects immediately. Then the class will break into the assigned teams to discuss the question, and after team discussion each team will give their consensus answer to the question. Then the instructor will discuss the answers with the class, and ask each team for their reasoning. Students can keep all their question sheets and notes. If time remains in the session, the instructor will put out additional questions.

The instructor will score responses on the individual answer cards toward 10% of the total grade.

In advance of each lecture/discussion, please read the assigned parts of the text, and download and review the scanned overheads and other lecture materials. Lecture materials for the seismic sections during the first part of the class are linked here:
Download PDFs of powerpoint presentations from a hidden web site for the gravity, magnetics, GPS, and electromagnetics lectures later in the semester. The instructor will give you the location of the hidden web site in class. Bringing the textbook to class, as well as the notes and overheads on your laptop will save you printing costs and some trees.

The required text is W. Telford, L. Geldart, and R. Sheriff, Applied Geophysics, Cambridge Univ. Press, ISBN 0521339383 (Google Books link) -$89.22 from Amazon.com; also availble new from Barnes and Noble and used from both for a little less. Buying from the ASUN Bookstore for $111 ($90 rental) helps support student activities. This text and others are on class reserve in the DeLaMare Library. (Go to ARES at https://ares.library.unr.edu/ares, log on with your NetID, and search on ''GPH'' or ''Louie''.) The full text is available here to UNR users. The schedule of readings from the text are noted in the syllabus below.

There are on-line courses elsewhere that may also provide helpful materials:

Team-Based Lab Exercises

This course requires six practical laboratory exercises or problem sets, to help students grasp key concepts and methods. All of these exercises are computer-based, with software provided by the instructor for download from this web page. The second lab exercise requires use of one of the lab PCs in the DeLaMare Library downstairs, to access licensed commercial software. All other exercises will be Windows-compatible, and most will be Mac and Linux compatible as well. The syllabus below gives links to the lab assignments.

For each of the six lab assignments, the class needs to meet during the agreed lab period for one or two 2-hour sessions. The instructor will take the teams through the lab exerises, and each team will turn in answers to the exercises. However, students do not need to turn in individual answers to any of the lab exercises. If a team cannot complete a lab during the lab sessions, email team questions about the labs to the gph492@lists.unr.edu mail alias, and the instructor or another student may be able to answer quickly.

Links to lab exercises:

  1. First-arrival picking and velocity inversion lab
  2. Surface-wave dispersion analysis and modeling lab
  3. Reflection processing Lab
  4. Gravity lab
  5. Magnetics Lab
  6. Resistivity modeling lab (old Resix lab)

Reading Case-History Literature

Each student will write five or six original abstracts of scientific articles on case histories. Lists of published case histories to select from are linked in the syllabus below. Everyone should turn in an original abstract of any one (or comparing more than one) of the listed readings. More than one student may write an abstract on the same reference, but students must write their abstracts on their own. Turn in your abstract at the start of class period on the stated due date in the schedule below; either in class or by email to louie@unr.edu. The instructor will accept late abstracts with a 10% penalty for a few weeks after the due date, possibly later at the instructor's sole discretion. The abstract should be between 100 words and 1 page long. It will be evaluated for neatness, English usage, and how well it ``concentrates the essential information'' of the chosen reference(s). Links to lists of papers suggested for abstracting:
  1. Engineering seismic case history
  2. Seismic reflection case history
  3. Potential fields case history
  4. Geodetic/inSAR case history
  5. Electromagnetic case history
  6. Borehole case history (if assigned)
These lists contain links to some of the gray literature listed. For journal articles, go to http://knowledgecenter.unr.edu/materials/articles/journals/ and search for the title of the journal the article is in. Then you can zero in on the year and issue with the article you want, and you should be able to download a full-text PDF of the article. If you get to a listing asking you to pay to view a copy of the article, you are on the wrong part of the Knowledge Center's website. You should not have to pay to read any of the articles I have suggested. Consult with the Librarians in DeLaMare if you have questions.
Email your questions about whether a particular paper not on the lists may be appropriate for an abstract assignment to the gph492@lists.unr.edu mail alias.

Field Project

The class will conduct small-scale geophysical field investigations at two sites during the March 16-24 Spring Break. The class will explore whether a 1960s nuclear blast east of Fallon may have left a gravity or shear-velocity signature; as well we will investigate a strike-slip fault scarp east of Schurz newly discovered by Prof. Wesnousky, with shallow seismic reflection/refraction, magnetics, and electrical resistivity.

Planning and mobilizing for each geophysical method will be assigned to a student team from the class. Everyone in the class must be willing to give up their entire spring break for the field project. The fieldwork may occupy all nine days of Spring Break, from 7 AM to 7 PM each field day. Additional details will be announced in February. There is a field project preparation web page from 2012 that will be updated with this class's objectives.

Each method's team will present their analysis with a 10-minute seminar during the final lecture period, in LME 415. While the class will collectively analyze the data obtained, students will be responsible for their own written reports. Each should describe the objectives, previous work, methods, results, and implications of the entire project in 5 to 10 pages of text, plus figures. For further guidance, see the page on elements of a professional report. The class may be able to publish its collected results; see some examples. There will be no final exam, unless the field project becomes a complete failure.

Special Projects Team

At the completion of the field exercise in March, the instructor may invite two or three of the top-scoring students in the individual assessments to join a Special Projects Team. Students who accept this invitation will not necessarily be responsible for any of the remaining assignments, or even to come to class. Instead they will negotiate special work with the instructor for class credit, which could include programming work to improve the lab exercises, or preparing a journal article submission from a previous class's reports.

Grades will be calculated as follows:

Team-Based Lab Exercises30%Abstracts25%Individual Assessments10%
Team Oral Presentation10%Field Report25%
Final grades will be curved separately for graduate and undergraduate students, and plus or minus grades may be assigned. Most years, the letter grade is determined from a scale such as this:
Letter Grade% of 100% possibleLetter Grade% of 100% possibleLetter Grade% of 100% possible
A90-100B-77-79D+63-66
A-87-89C+73-76D60-62
B+83-86C70-72D-57-59
B80-82C-67-69F0-56
Academic Dishonesty
is defined as cheating, plagiarism or otherwise obtaining grades under false pretenses. I will return any work that contains plagiarism to you without grading it. If I do this, please meet with me ASAP so I can instruct you on how to avoid academic dishonesty, and encourage you to revise and re-submit the assignment for class credit. Bioethics@Iowa State has a very helpful list of rules of thumb you can use to avoid plagiarism in your writing.

You are encouraged to work with your classmates on all assignments except your abstracts. However, you must turn in your own work for it to count toward your grade, free of any academic dishonesty.

Accommodating Disabilities

I encourage any student needing to request accommodations for a specific disability to please meet with me at you earliest convenience to ensure timely and appropriate accommodations.

Syllabus and Schedule

Download lecture materials:
Not all lecture/discussion days are listed- two topics are listed per week, with Fridays typically devoted to preparing for Spring Break field exercises, and analyzing the results after. Lecture links contain supplemental materials.
1/23 Class organization, team assignment, resources, schedule, field exercises, grading
Text: Contents, Mathematical Conventions, p. v-xii, xix-xx, 1-5; this syllabus
SEG: What is Geophysics? (with slideshow)
1/25Seismic principles - wave propagation (example), Fermat, Snell, reflection, refraction, rock velocities, porosity
Text: 4.1-4.2.1, 4.2.3-4.2.8, p. 136-143, 147-162; Seismic overheads 1: p. 1-10
Earthquake wave-modeling facility, with links to movies and video podcasts
1/28Seismic principles - amplitude, Q, shear and surface waves, sources, geophones and digital recorders
Text: 4.5.3-4.5.4, p. 192-207; Seismic overheads 1: p. 11-20
1/30Refraction - time-distance (t-X) plots, purpose, depth, dip, reversal, survey design, Crustal refractions in section
Text: 4.3-4.4.2, 4.6-4.7.1, p. 162-176, 209-216; Seismic overheads 1: p. 21-27
2/1Field project organization, objectives - geologic setting, previous geophysics, planning
(and subsequent Fridays)
2/4Refraction - low-vel & thin hidden layers, v-z ambiguity; Refraction Microtremor (20.8-Mb PPT show and media files), definition of Vs30 in International Building Code, ReMi Field Tutorial
Text: 4.9, p. 235-243; Seismic overheads 1: p. 28-32
- Abstract DUE on engineering seismic case history
2/6Reflection principles - profiling, sounding, NMO, dip
Text: 4.4.3-4.4.8, p. 176-186; Seismic overheads 1: p. 33-37
- First-arrival picking and velocity inversion lab Tutorial 1 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
2/8GPS Field Tutorial 11:00-11:50 AM on the Quad by Dan Munger
2/11Reflection principles - Vrms, Dix, vert resolution, horiz resolution
Text: 4.5.5, p. 207-209; Seismic overheads 1: p. 38-46
2/13Reflection acquisition - phases, spatial aliasing, spreads, stack chart, signal/noise, field strategies
Text: 4.5.1-4.5.2, p. 186-192; Seismic overheads 2: p. 1-52
- First-arrival picking and velocity inversion lab Tutorial 2 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
2/15Magnetics Field Tutorial 11:00-11:50 AM on the Quad
2/18NO CLASS - Presidents Day Holiday
2/20Reflection analysis - processing, spectra, BP filtering, Reflection phase, Gather slicing
Text: 4.7.2-4.7.6, p. 216-228; Seismic overheads 3: p. 1-17
- Surface-wave dispersion analysis and modeling lab Tutorial 1 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
2/22Gravity Field Tutorial 11:00-11:50 AM, LME 415 and 2nd-floor north patio
2/25Reflection analysis - CMP stacking, stacking chart, CV stack picking, diffractions, migration
Text: 4.7.7-4.7.14, 4.10.1-4.10.2, p. 229-233, 243-248; Seismic overheads 3: p. 17-33
- Abstract DUE on seismic reflection case history
2/27 J. N. Louie, W. Honjas, and S. Pullammanappallil, Advanced seismic technology for geothermal development: Geophysical Techniques in Geothermal Exploration Workshop, 2007 Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting, Reno, 28 September; with additions made for Nov. 2011 New Zealand Geothermal Workshop, Auckland
Text: 4.8, 4.10.3-4.11.7, p. 233-235, 248-272
- Surface-wave dispersion analysis and modeling lab Tutorial 2 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
3/1Resistivity Field Tutorial 11:00-11:50 AM on the Quad
3/4Gravity principles - densities, corrections, instruments, acquisition
Text: 2.1-2.2.2, 2.3-2.5, p. 6-7, 10-26; Oppliger lectures: Gravity_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 1-32
3/6Gravity interpretation - modeling, trends, contouring, spatial filters
Text: 2.6-2.8, p. 26-48; Oppliger lectures: Gravity_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 33-50
Seismic Reflection-Refraction Field Tutorial 2:00-4:00 PM on the Quad
3/8Refraction Mictrotremor Field Tutorial 11:00-11:50 AM on the Quad
3/11Magnetics principles - properties, susceptibility units, diurnal drift, storms, instruments, acquisition
Text: 3.1, 3.3-3.5, p. 62-63, 67-84; Oppliger lectures: Mag_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 1-40
- Abstract DUE on potential fields case history
3/13Magnetics interpretation - modeling, trends, contouring, poles, filters
Text: 3.6-3.7, p. 84-114; Magnetics overheads
- Reflection Processing Lab Tutorial 1 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
3/16-3/24Spring Break Field Project - 2013 photos and video - Previous Fieldwork Photo Albums: 2012; 2011; 2010; 2009; 2007; 2005; 2003; 2002; 2000
3/25Gravity/magnetics case studies - basin and bedrock geometry
Text: 2.8, 3.8-3.9, p. 48-52, 114-134 (read problems and look at accompanying diagrams); Seismic overheads 3: p. 34-40
3/27Electrical/hydraulic properties - rocks, fluids
Text: 5.1-5.4, p. 283-292; Oppliger lectures: Elect-Props-Resist-glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 1-20
- Reflection Processing Lab Tutorial 2 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
3/29Field interpretation - elements of professional report, integration
(and subsequent Fridays)
4/1DC Resistivity - acquisition, apparent resistivity
Text: 8.1-8.4, p. 522-535; Oppliger lectures: Elect-Props-Resist-glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 21-45
4/3DC Resistivity - modeling, curve fitting
Text: 8.5-8.7, p. 535-570; Oppliger lectures: Elect-Props-Resist-glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 46-78
- Field interpretation teamwork 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
4/5Gravity Lab Tutorial 1 11:00-11:50 AM LME 415
4/8Frequency-domain electromagnetics - wavelengths, phase, skin depth
Text: 6.2.2-6.2.3, p. 306-309; Oppliger lectures: EM_methods_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 1-26
- Abstract DUE on electromagnetic case history
4/10Time-domain electromagnetics - dynamos, eddy currents, acquisition, modeling
Text: 7.3-7.6, p. 361-383; Oppliger lectures: EM_methods_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 27-62
- draft methods paragraphs, result plots, reduced data DUE to class from each field team
- Field interpretation teamwork 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
4/12Gravity Lab Tutorial 2 11:00-11:50 AM LME 415
4/15GPS and Geodesy principles (1 Mb PDF of details): Guest lecture by Dan Munger
Oppliger lectures: GPS_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 1-26
4/17GPS acquisition, analysis: Guest lecture by Dan Munger
Oppliger lectures: GPS_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 27-48
- GPS Postprocessing Lab Tutorial 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
4/19GPS case histories, inSAR: Guest lecture by Dan Munger
Oppliger lectures: GPS_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 49-71
4/22Ground-probing radar; induced polarization, self potential - theory, acquisition, interpretation
Text: 7.7, p. 383-477; Oppliger lectures: EM_methods_glo-jnl.ppt.pdf slides 63-84
4/24Hydrogeophysics integrated case studies - water quality, waste plume characterization
Text: 7.8, p. 477-504; Hydrogeophysics case histories, 692-kb PDF
- Field interpretation teamwork 2:00-4:00 PM DeLaMare Dataworks South Lab
4/26Resistivity modeling lab Tutorial 11:00-11:50 AM LME 415
4/29The borehole environment; Borehole methods - SP, induction, laterologs, acoustic, gamma, neutron
Text: 11.1-11.11, p. 645-690; Seismic overheads 3: p. 32-35
5/1Field Results Integration Discussion
- draft results paragraphs, improved result plots DUE to class from each field team
Monday 5/6Group Project Results Presentations (10 minutes each)
- Abstract DUE on geodetic/inSAR case history
Weds. 5/15Individual Project Reports DUE 5:00 PM LME 217
Instructor available during final period LME 415 8:00-10:00 AM
- Abstract DUE on borehole case history (if assigned)

Recording of Class Sessions

Notwithstanding the draft policy below, being considered by UNR Counsel, I, John Louie, as instructor of GPH 492/692, hereby explicitly authorize any registered student to make and broadcast on any medium any type of recording of our class sessions.
``Surreptitious or covert video-­taping of class or unauthorized audio recording of class is prohibited by law and by Board of Regents policy. This class may be videotaped or audio recorded only with the written permission of the instructor. In order to accommodate students with disabilities, some students may have been given permission to record class lectures and discussions. Therefore, students should understand that their comments during class may be recorded.''


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